Ohio Therapy Dog Wins National Trick Dog Competition

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CLEVELAND – A dog from northeast Ohio and his handler is nationally recognized for winning a major rigging dog competition.


What would you like to know

  • Eli and his canine dam Leslie Gelesh won the 2021 American Kennel Club Virtual Trick Dog competition
  • Gelesh and her husband used a modified Batman story to demonstrate the various tricks Eli can do
  • The miniature poodle also performs in nursing homes as a therapy dog

It was a hard day’s work for Eli and Leslie Gelesh at All Breed Training Club-Akron after showing off the talents of a Miniature Poodle.

“You could start very small and you could take a treat and attract them,” Gelesh explained, using a treat to draw Eli through his legs.

Eli has a wide array of tricks ranging from piano to ring throwing and even saving “Gotham City” as a caped crusader with his brother Chip.

“I’ve had dogs my whole life, but I’ve never trained one before. This is the first one I trained. And I am not a professional trainer. I’m a homebody, ”Gelesh said.

This retired dog mom had Eli when he was over a year old. He had already started training, so she figured she was going to give it a try and take him to the next level.

When she first got involved in AKC’s Virtual Trick Dog competition, she thought a Batman storyline that she dubbed “Batman Furever” that included the rescue of the Pink Panther would be the best way. to show off his talents while creating a new hobby.

“Love it. You know it’s good for the dog. It’s fun for me. I’m creative. You know sometimes a trick doesn’t work and you have to come up with another plan to get the dog to understand what you are doing. you ask him to do. But, you know, it’s a puzzle game for me. It’s a puzzle game for him, “she said.

After calling it a session, Gelesh loaded up Eli and Chip and returned home, where there is not only a Batmobile, but also evidence of Eli’s recent first place in the domestic competition. It’s a victory that Gelesh and Eli are very proud of.

“When I didn’t win the first time around, which was probably an unrealistic expectation, then I thought, ‘Well, I can fix that and do it again.’ So we did everything we could. We did all kinds of stuff, we did it – we added whatever we could think of and “boom! “Here we are, No. 1 trap dog in the country,” Gelesh said with a smile.

Eli’s work doesn’t stop at competitions. He also performs in nursing homes, brightening up others’ days as a therapy dog ​​and bringing joy to people as he brought joy to his dog mom.

“They are so much fun and they are so active and interesting and they have made so many friends for me,” Gelesh said. “Everywhere I go people are connecting with me through them and it has really been a great pleasure in my life.”

This poodle might not have superpowers, but he has a knack for tricks and makes faces smile.

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